Hadith no. 1582 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 87:
Narrated Qaza’a, the slave of Ziyad:
Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu) who participated in twelve Ghazawat with the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “I heard four things from Allah’s Apostle (or I narrate them from the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) which won my admiration and appreciation. They are:
1. “No lady should travel without her husband or without a Dhu-Mahram for a two-days’ journey.
2. No fasting is permissible on two days of ‘Id-al-Fitr, and ‘Id-al-Adha.
3. No prayer (may be offered) after two prayers: after the ‘Asr prayer till the sun set and after the morning prayer till the sun rises.
4. Not to travel (for visiting) except for three mosques: Masjid-al-Haram (in Mecca), my Mosque (in Medina), and Masjid-al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem).”
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 88:
Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saw an old man walking, supported by his two sons, and asked about him. The people informed him that he had vowed to go on foot (to the Ka’ba). He said, “Allah is not in need of this old man’s torturing himself,” and ordered him to ride.
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 89:
Narrated ‘Uqba bin ‘Amir (radiallaahu `anhu):
My sister vowed to go on foot to the Ka’ba, and she asked me to take the verdict of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) about it. So, I did and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “She should walk and also should ride.”
Volume 3, Book 29, Number 90:
Narrated Abu-l-Khair from ‘Uqba (radiallaahu `anhu) as above.
I’ve had to do a detailed study on this matter. Bear with me till the end please. I hope I’m able to make the reader understand the concept fully inshaAllah.
Vows are of two types:
- Conditional vows, in which the vow is dependent upon something happening, as when a person says, “If Allaah heals me, I will give such and such in charity, or I will fast such and such a number of days,” and so on.
- Unconditional vows (which are not connected to anything), such as saying, “I will fast such and such a number of days for Allaah.”
Both types of vows must be fulfilled, if what is vowed is to do an act of worship. (Because if it’s not, it’s impermissible to do it anyway.)
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
Whoever vows to obey Allaah, let him obey Him, and whoever vows to disobey Him let him not disobey Him.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6696.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) condemned those who made vows but did not fulfill them. Muslim (2535) narrated from ‘Imraan ibn Husayn that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The best of you are my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.
‘Imraan said: I do not know whether the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “and those who follow them” two times or three.
Then after them will come people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, who will betray and not be trustworthy, who will make vows but not fulfill them, and fatness will appear among them.
One must do everything in his capacity to fulfill his vow. If he falls short, he has to offer kaffaarah as mentioned in Surah al-Maa’idah:
“Allaah will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation (a deliberate oath) feed ten Masaakeen (poor persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave. But whosoever cannot afford (that), then he should fast for three days. That is the expiation for the oaths when you have sworn. And protect your oaths (i.e. do not swear much). Thus Allaah makes clear to you His Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) that you may be grateful.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Whoever swears an oath then sees that something else is better than it, let him do that and offer expiation for his oath.
Narrated by Muslim, 1650
Exception/Difference of Opinion
The scholars have differed on this: if the vow entails extreme unnecessary hardship, should it still be fulfilled? The sound and more correct opinion is that it’s better to break that vow. And no expiation is to be offered for breaking (only) this kind of vow as the narrations above indicate. Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) did not order that man to offer any expiation. He was only asked to break his vow since it was bringing unnecessary hardship.